Don’t expect roster changes – at least not yet

The NY Rangers will likely not make roster changes following the Vlad Namestnikov trade

When the Rangers traded Vlad Namestnikov to the Ottawa Senators late Monday, thoughts immediately went to how the Rangers will fill the gap. Discussions were about Filip Chytil, Vitali Kravtsov, or even Vinni Lettieri being called up. There were talks about this being a move that leads to another, larger move. In reality, the trade is what it is – a salary dump of a $4 million fourth line winger.

While the trade is what it is, there are still implications for the future roster. The fourth line is currently Lias Andersson centering Brendan Smith and one of Micheal Haley and Greg McKegg. That is not likely to change any time soon, especially given both Jeff Gorton’s and David Quinn’s recent comments that the trade was solely to create immediate cap flexibility, while also creating open roster slots for kids in the future.

That, of course, is to be taken with a grain of salt.

After all, if the current players earning more ice time aren’t getting it, then the skepticism regarding Quinn’s comments about creating room for youngsters is valid. It’s only two games into the season so it is a little too early for rash judgment, but it is something worth keeping an eye on.

Current prospect status on the NHL roster notwithstanding, it will be one of Haley or McKegg lining up on the fourth line for over $3 million less than Namestnikov would have cost them. That itself is a positive, especially while the Rangers only have one game between now and the end of next week.

The hockey season will run its course. Injuries will happen. Call ups will happen. Players will get a taste and then be sent back down. Eventually Ryan Strome –if he continues his subpar play that has been a cause for concern since preseason– will be off the second line. Chytil will get a call up, and probably stick some point during the season. Kravtsov soon thereafter. Just not yet. There’s no rush.

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  • I think Strome has to be the next one to be shopped and traded. Hopefully that happens and then the Rangers can truly turn the center positions over to the young players.

    The Krav situation has to be watched. At first I didn’t think it was a big deal but evidently Krav and his parents are upset that he was sent down and may be considering going back to the KHL. I don’t know if Krav has that option in his contract.

    • Tony

      According to an article I read, he does, and that would be terrible for the kid, and his future with the Rangers I would suspect………………

      • If that should be the truth and he does, indeed, go back to Russia, I say good riddance to Krav and good luck!

        Not interested in a cancer in the locker room, especially and 18 yr old who thinks he is what he is…before proving it.

        I truly hope this is all just nonsensical speculation and the kid has his head on straight. Time will tell.

        • Kravtsov is clearly more skilled than players occupying NHL roster slots for the Rangers currently, that’s just a fact. I’d say it’s a very bad thing if he isn’t a little pissed about it, frankly – that would be quite a lack of drive and an undesirable level of apathy.

        • He’s not a cancer. He’s a 19 year old kid who was depressed that he was sent down.

          Losing your 9th overall pick would be devastating.

    • Strome should have been the 1st one shopped. Names should have at least been given the chance to see if he could get CK and KK going. Unfortunately the coaching staff was not a fan of Names and wanted him out.
      Ashame we didnt bring Hayes back when wee could have had him for around 6×6…instead signing Vlad and Spooner because we thought we had C depth.
      That Krav issue does not sound good. He does have a Euro out clause, but would hope that the Rangers and Kravs team talked before sending him down to let him know the situation….From the sounds of it this may not have happened, and if the case would be a huge black eye for the FO and org.

      • Do you really believe the FO and org. sent him to Hartford without a conversation?

        I got a bridge that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, Any chance you have any interest in purchasing it?

    • Strome has had his “Ryan Spooner” moment on Broadway and it’s time for DQ to acknowledge and accept the fact that Spooner is not part of the “core”. The 2nd line has looked disjointed on the ice and the 2C on the Kreider and Kakko line has to be a creative passer like Kravsov or Chytil!

      Strome is essentially a similar player like Vesey, a bottom-6 player who is very effective around the net.

  • The article I read was saying that the KHL team that Kravs played for, Tracktor (?), still has his rights should he return to the KHL. This is more of an economics issue with the kid, and probably with his parents. Playing in the AHL, he earns $70K per year, considerably less than what he made in Russia, hence the reason his family is probably upset. Gees, they have discovered the concept of capitalism haven’t they? LOL!!!!!!

    Sit tight kid, all will work itself out in a few weeks at the most, prove you belong here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I read an article, explain it to our readers, and two dumb SOB’s want to shoot the messenger, what idiots!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The team needs to treat Kraftsov a little differently. While the big club does not need reinforcements yet, within 4 games I hope to see Kraftsov stop sulking, get his head into the game and begin playing at his highest level. If he is able to do that, I would prefer having Kraftsov on the 3rd line over McKegg. Kid seems to have a delicate psyche.

    You may ask why we should treat this kid differently – because he has the skills to be a top 6 forward and we drafted him in the first round. Let him show he belongs and them bring him up.

  • My guess on the Kravstov situation is probably less that he got sent down, and more around who they kept up here in place of him. The kid moved across the earth to now take a big pay-cut and watch Michael Haley get to stay in NY. And he brought some of his family over with him, that now probably have to go back. $70k doesn’t go very far in the Northeast US.

    I hope he works through this. It would be a huge blow to this new management team if he goes back. I would almost blame them more than him.

    • I wouldn’t. I would blame the spoiled little brat that signed a 2-way contract thinking that no-one would send someone as great as himself to Hartford.

      Again, assuming this attitude is all true, and that’s a huge assumption at this point, do you guys really want him on the big club now? He probably thinks he should be on the first line in the NHL too.

  • All this speculation about Kravs and of course 90% of it is negative. He should be disappointed, he earned a spot on the team in training camp. I don’t think he’s interested at all with going back to Russia …

  • logically team Kravstov knew there was a chance he might spend considerable time in the AHL learning NA hockey better. I HIGHLY doubt his feelings changed to now blowing up this entire NA professional hockey venture because he ALMOST made the NHL roster. His future is so bright nothing this trivial could derail it. no way, not yet, not even a thought yet.

    I also recall him getting pummeled by a hit during the pre season, this brings to mind another Russian (Buch) needing to get some strength building time…

    BUT, I could see him having a little HO SANG moment. Talented with a little Bratty instinct that could hurt him.


    • More speculation.
      Let’s give the kid 5-10 games and see how he performs on the ice. More than anything, his on-ice performance will drive his future success.

  • God , if your listening please help the Rangers offload Staal and Hanks contract.

    If you do I’ll promise never to cheat On face offs again.

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